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JPs hold organizational meeting

The Van Buren County Quorum Court held its first meeting with members elected in November. The Quorum Court includes (back row from left) Justices of the Peace Richard Collins Jr., Dell Holt, James Kirkendoll, Robert "Bogie" Bramlett, Chuck Willard, James Reed, Randy Story, (front row) Chad Brown, who will be the county attorney, Bobbye Bennett, newly appointed county clerk, County Judge Roger Hooper and JPs Gary Linn and Dale James.
The Van Buren County Quorum Court held its first meeting with members elected in November. The Quorum Court includes (back row from left) Justices of the Peace Richard Collins Jr., Dell Holt, James Kirkendoll, Robert "Bogie" Bramlett, Chuck Willard, James Reed, Randy Story, (front row) Chad Brown, who will be the county attorney, Bobbye Bennett, newly appointed county clerk, County Judge Roger Hooper and JPs Gary Linn and Dale James.

The Van Buren County Quorum Court held its 2013 organizational meeting at the Courthouse Annex last week.

Presiding over a panel of justices of the peace that included four new members, County Judge Roger Hooper had each man introduce himself and tell a bit about himself.

One of the new members is Robert “Bogie” Bramlett who spent eight years as a JP and eight years as county judge, serving until 2010 when he did not seek re-election as county judge. He represents District 9.

Another new member is Gary Linn of Morganton, representing District 5 in southern Van Buren County. “I look forward to working with the other JPs to help people in the county,” he said.

District 7 is now represented by James Reed, who said he “hoped to be an asset to the county.”

The other new JP is Chuck Willard of Fairfield Bay, who will serve District 4. He said he is looking forward to the work.

The longest-serving member is James Kirkendoll who represents Shirley and Burnt Ridge. He thanked the voters in District 3 for returning him to office.

The other four returning justices of the peace are Dell Holt, District 1, Dale James, District 2, and Randy Story, District 6, all beginning their second term; and Richard Collins Jr., District 8.

Longtime deputy clerk Bobbye Bennett took her place as the recently appointed county clerk. Voters decided in November to split the office of county clerk and circuit clerk. Ester Bass remains at circuit clerk. Bennett will serve until voters choose a new clerk in 2014.

The county will now be represented by Chad Brown, who also will serve as a deputy prosecuting attorney, handling all non-drug related cases in Van Buren County Circuit Court. Brown grew up in Clinton and returned to his hometown last summer after 12 years in Conway. He works at the Kent Tester Law Firm and will keep an office there as well as have an office in the prosecutor’s office in downtown Clinton, he said last week.

Hooper appointed three committees for the 2013 term. They are:

Budget: James, who will remain as chairman, Holt, Collins, Kirkendoll and Story

Roads: Collins, Story, Reed, Linn and Bramlett

Grounds: Holt, James, Kirkendoll, Willard and Bramlett

After a little discussion about a new time and date for regular meetings, it was decided to leave it as it is, 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month in the Quorum Court Room at the Courthouse Annex on Highway 65. The unanimous vote was the first vote by the 2013 Quorum Court. The meetings are open to the public.

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